Published: July 9, 2018

Holly Gayley is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Religious Studies at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and an affiliate of the Center for Asian Studies as well as playing a leading role in the Tibet-Himalaya Initiative here at CU Boulder.  Her research focuses on the revitalization of Buddhism in Tibetan areas of the PRC in the post-Maoist period. Dr. Gayley became interested in the academic study of Buddhism through her travels among Tibetan communities in India, Nepal, and China. She completed her Masters in Buddhist Studies at Naropa University in 2000 and Ph.D. at Harvard University in Tibetan and Himalayan Studies in 2009. Dr. Gayley's first book titled, Love Letters from Golok: A Tantric Couple in Modern Tibet, came out in November 2016 with Columbia University Press. The book charts the lives and love letters of a contemporary Buddhist tantric couple, Khandro Tāre Lhamo and Namtrul Jigme Phuntsok, who played a significant role in revitalizing Buddhism in eastern Tibet since the 1980s. Examining Buddhist conceptions of gender, agency and healing, this book recovers Tibetan voices in representing their own modern history under Chinese rule and contributes to burgeoning scholarly literature on Buddhist women, minorities in China, and studies of collective trauma. Recently, a podcast based on Holly Gayley's book was produced.

You can listen to the podcast here:


Her website can be found at